'House of Food' EP Jenny Daly discusses the house divide, new roommate and more

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house-of-food-harrison-arrives.jpg After MTV's new cooking competition/reality series "House of Food" premiered last week, one contestant's fate was left up in the air. Would Amanda return to the house after the judges reprimanded her for wasting their time since she admitted that she doesn't have any aspirations to be a professional chef?

On Monday's (April 7) new episode of the "Real World"-meets-"MasterChef" series, all signs seem to point to no, as a new contestant, Harrison, arrives to the house. Is he taking Amanda's place? You'll have to watch the episode to find out, but "House of Food" executive producer Jenny Daly tells Zap2it that Harrison is definitely a competitor to watch. "He steers a lot of angst in the household and it will be interesting to watch it unfold," Daly says.

As for Amanda, whether or not she comes back to the house/show is up to her, and what she wants for her future.

"The [professional] chefs agreed to be a part of this show based on the fact that they were doing the duty of training these aspiring chefs, so we made sure that everyone we cast had a passion in this area and had a goal to one day own their own restaurant or thrive in a cooking arena of some kind," Daly says. "So someone who doesn't care enough about this, they felt that they were wasting their time and effort training someone who wasn't in it to win it. There was a 'come to Jesus' conversation with her after the premiere."

And as for the rest of the house, Daly says that even though the producers expected emotions to run high, they were all surprised by the instant divide between some of the competitors. "It was an utter surprise to us," she says. "It's something that we as producers could only look to putting together the format of the cooking challenges and sit back and watch how they interact together. So we were on a roller-coaster ride as well as the audience will be, not knowing what was going to happen next. What did come out was pretty exciting to watch.

"It's really true: When you put young people in a house together, living with one another, it's one of those situations where I have to say, I don't blame them and I didn't doubt that that would happen. And it starts pretty quickly in there, and other things that come up in the season were surprising."

But this isn't just a show about young people living together causing drama. Daly promises there will always be a focus on food and competitions in each episode.

"At the end of the day, every episode contains a lesson about food and cooking and the application of that within a challenge," Daly says. "And then there's always going to be that social aspect as they hang around the house cooking and drinking. Cooking is a part of their culture, so even when they're being social around the house, cooking is still an element. It's the constant in the show."

Even though some contestants were clear front-runners in the premiere, Daly promises that the talent and skills of each competitor evens out, and it really is a fight to the finish. "Every single one of the students show a great deal of a learning curve in how they work their food and improve their palate in their dishes," she says. "It's really impressive, and even the chefs were impressed. And a lot of the kids even impressed themselves with how far they come."

Will Amanda return to the house? How will Harrison mesh with the rest of the roommates? And who will win the apprenticeship of a lifetime? Find out when "House of Food" airs Monday (April 7) at 10 p.m. ET on MTV, and watch a preview clip below:

Photo/Video credit: MTV